Monday, February 2, 2015

Game log for 1 February 2015

Dramatis personae

Anêr, a swashbuckler
Yémos, a cleric of Dōsaútōr, goddess of wisdom and magic
Mayhem, a barbarian who is vertically challenged
Caleb, a wizard of the Order of the Sun

Quid occurrit

So the gang went back to Péllē, who batted her eyes at them as they told her about the kobold-sized tunnel. She agreed to their call for kobolds to help them, though she told them that they don't work well with orcs. "We keep them all at odds so they don't get together and hold an uprising," she said. So Kuflaug and Gaddurub, the orc slaves with them, went back to work, and two kobolds, one with a blunt nose and another with broad shoulders and pointier horns.

The gang brought the kobolds down to the room with the dirt mound, which they found easily. Yémos asked the kobolds where the tunnel went, and the broad-shouldered one said, "It seems to go up." Then they sent the kobolds down the tunnel, with Mayhem behind them, and the others behind them on all fours. They followed the kobolds up the tunnel, and, after the kobolds pushed aside a rock blocking the top, found themselves near the opening of the mine.

Amazed, they went back to the room with the dirt. They told the kobolds to tell them about the dirt, and they agreed it came from the lands above. Why? Neither of them said they knew. Unshaken, they asked the kobolds about the mines. The kobold with the blunt nose told them in his nasal voice that they found odd wrought things in the mines, both metallic and stone, with more curves than wont, mostly dishes. The kobold thought they came from the hobgoblins. When Yémos pressed, the kobold said that there were no hobgoblins in the camp as they kept disappearing, falling down shafts or getting into fights to the death. Hobgoblins, he said, were "bad luck."

The heroes brought the kobolds back to camp, then went to lunch. In the dining hall, they chatted with Likháfrikh, a dwarf with a bushy mustache. Likháfrikh said he was an engineer, and had been there four years. Some slaves had knocked out four of his teeth in an uprising some time ago. Likháfrikh said that what the kobold said was true: there were odd curvy items in the mines, as he had found a a few krises. Likháfrikh didn't find this as noteworthy as the heroes, since mines in his home land of Mōr-Nembe also yield artifacts of a bygone time, albeit ones unlike the ones found in the Áos Hills. It was also true that there were no hobgoblins, and no one could find where they went. Did they flee? Unlikely, as a year ago, the overseers sent the orcs to look for holes through which the hobgoblins could flee, and told them the overseers would reward the orcs with more meat if they found hobgoblins. After looking for hobgoblins, the orcs murdered the last hobgoblin still living at camp, and fed his body to the ogres. The overseers chose to give the orcs some more meat anyways. After telling the baker, who was standing nearby, that they did enjoy their meal, they went to Péllē and had her send along the two orcs from earlier.

They went down into the mines again, then walked past some of the workers, down a tunnel, to a chamber with a hole in the middle. The hole was about 6 feet athwart, and looked like a natural well. Yémos threw a penny down the shaft and watched it fall, then move out of sight. After a short chat with Kuflaug, the orc with the nose ring, about the gods (Kuflaug said he worshipped Kasnotok, the goddess of the earth, whom Yémos knew to be Rōripermónē, the farming goddess of men, and seemed happy to find that Yémos worshipped Dōsaútōr, or Laganok, as Kuflaug called her in Goblin), the chose to go down the shaft. Gaddurub  the other orc with the wet hair, said he wouldn't do it, but went along after Yémos and Mayhem told him that they could bring him back to Péllē, who would kill him for not heeding them.

They started with first lowering Kuflaug, with Anêr and Mayhem as belays. After getting him down, they lowered Caleb, but could not keep him from slipping and hurting his belly. After Caleb went Yémos, who cast Minor Healing on Caleb to heal some of his wounds. Then they lowered Gaddurub, who looked at Yémos and Caleb with an evil glare, but did nothing. At last, Mayhem and Anêr, the skilled climbers, went down the rope, which they left hanging at the hole. They waited an hour for Yémos to get back some of his holy might, then went down the tunnel.

The tunnel turned into a wide stair that first went up to a small landing, then down again. Once at the top of the landing, the orcs afore made it no farther than the edge when a flurry of arrows greeted them. The arrows missed, but the heroes sprang into battle.

Yémos cast Shield on Mayhem, then Anêr drew his sword and waited for whatever was down there, which turned out to be four hobgoblins. (Is anyone surprised?) Mayhem pulled out his axe and rushed to the edge, while the orcs, taken aback, stood slack-jawed at the edge. The two hobgoblins afore pulled out their halberds, while the two behind them drew arrows.

Yémos again tried to cast Shield, this time on himself, and all of the sudden had a big stone shield in his hands. He felt that he had upset some holy emissary, who was punishing him with a mockery of his spell. Caleb started casting Blast Ball. Anêr moved to before the orcs, while Mayhem waited for the hobgoblins.

The two hobgoblins at the fore swung at Anêr and Mayhem with they halberds, but could not strike them. Then the two bowmen shot at the orcs, one striking Kuflaug in the chest. Kuflaug, however, still stood, dumbfounded. Gaddurub, however, snapped aware then turned and ran. Yémos stepped aside, dropped the stone shield, and ran after Gaddurub, lest he pull up the rope. Caleb tried to get off his Blast Ball spell, but it fizzled. Anêr made a wild swing at the hobgoblin nearest him, but missed, but Mayhem put his hobgoblin with the halberd. Kuflaug still stood agape, while Yémos dropped the stone shield and ran after Gaddurub.

The two hobgoblins at the fore switched grips on their halberds, while the two bowmen drew arrows. Caleb started casting another Blast Ball, while Anêr stepped and put his rapier into the hobgoblin nearest him. Mayhem also hit home for a big hit on a hobgoblin, but the hobgoblin stayed standing. Kuflaug still stood dumbstruck (or even more dumbstruck), while the hobgoblins in the fore stood their ground, and the ones in the back loosed arrows. One missed Anêr, while the other arrow didn't make it to Mayhem, because it hit the hobgoblin he just hit in the back. Needless to say, the hobgoblin didn't know it was coming, and went down.

Caleb got his Blast Ball ready to throw, while Anêr made a nasty strike (Defensive Attack 4, Mighty Blows). He struck the hobgoblin, but the hobgoblin still stood. Mayhem rushed one of the bowmen, and struck him with a wild swing, knocking him down but not out. Kuflaug at last came aware, and turned and ran. 

The hobgoblin before Anêr, hurt but not out, stood fast, but the one bowman left standing turned and ran. Caleb threw his Blast Ball, which ended the life of the hobgoblin on the ground while singing the other. Anêr made another fierce strike, but the hobgoblin, waiting for the blow, knocked it away with his halberd. His success was short-lived, however, much as he was: Mayhem stepped and smote him dead with his axe.

Meanwhile, Gaddurub and Yémos made it to the rope. Gaddurub started climbing, while Yémos grabbed the bottom of the rope. As Gaddurub climbed, Kuflaug made it to the rope and told Yémos that he took an arrow and was going. Yémos offered healing to Kuflaug, but Kuflaug started climbing anyways. Gaddurub started to pull the rope, and Kuflaug fell off and passed out once he hit the ground. Yémos tried to keep the rope down, but after Gaddurub lifted Yémos a few feet into the air, Yémos kept down.

On the ground, he poured a minor healing potion down Kuflaug's throat, while the others dressed him in the armor of one of the hobgoblins. Over the next hour, the group talked about their lack of rations, and Yémos said that casting Create Food on the hobgoblin bodies was the best bet. Collective squick followed. Once the hour was up, Yémos cast a Minor Healing spell on Kuflaug, and they set forth down the stairs.

They found themselves in a big chamber filled with bat guano. They looked up to see a ceiling full of bats, squawking at their light (they had cast Continual Light earlier). There were three ways out. The first was a dead end, while the second led to a room with columns and more bat shit. At the end of the room was an alcove with a door to each side and a broken statue, while bats flew near their heads. The door to the right was ajar, while the one to the left was stuck shut. They chose to keep left, and both Mayhem and Kuflaug tried to shove the door open. After a couple of failed tries to open the door, four striges flew from out of the bats and at them, but the gang made short work of them.

Res aliae

Does Jennell Jaquays have a serious thing for halberds? When I rolled that the hobgoblins had halberds and longbows, the players were a little surprised. Then I told them that the gnolls—er, hobgoblins—had a 50/50 chance of having halberds, which brought a few giggles.

Now that they've armed Kuflaug, it seems I have an orc to fully stat out. I never thought they'd give him a halberd, much less a weapon.

The halberd wasn't good for the hobgoblins. They spent a lot of time changing grips as the heroes moved nearer to them, though it did frustrate Chris (Mayhem's player) that they had longer Reach than he had. The hobgoblins had a lot of HP for mooks—17—but didn't have much in the way of other defenses, nor skill. If they had hit, it would have hurt.

This wasn't in the log, but a good bunch of time we passed by talking about world things, mostly about humanoid slavery but a bit about the political situation too. There hasn't been much in the way of non-human NPCs until now, so Likháfrikh, the dwarf, brought out a few world details.

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